artist lecture reflection : :
thinking about time (as subject) (as form) (as content)

(in film) if time becomes the subject more-so than the subjects themselves, what then leads the artist’s decision in choosing specific (human, animal, or other) subjects? in what ways does time, in an attempt at claiming to be seen, consume the other subject? how do we compare (in film) the time-subject and human-animal-subject through understandings of recursivity and temporality?


“If the myth exists in the world, then how do we see it?” -Ben Russel

in ben russel’s first film showing of RIVER RITES i received very strong feelings of undoing, unbecoming, and uncleansing as i became a witness to bodies absorbing their splashes, fabrics folding and unfolding, a language spoken in reverse. my sense of time became heightened as i listened closely to the sonic organization of sounds. soft voices and the movement of water felt slowed on their own, whereas with the addition of music, movement and action felt suddenly fast and disorienting. as the minutes passed and i settled further into the film, i felt as if i myself became in control of the time.

time is constructed. on the individual level, i am affectively building it.

RIVER RITES is not a reproduction. it is a representation. so i too build upon it through my own affective interpolation.

so what about _e_t_h_i_c_s_?______

how does the film RIVER RIGHTS stimulate epistephilia (a desire to know)? what, specifically, do we desire to know about it? if documentary film conveys some sort of informing logic, persuasive rhetoric, or a moving poetics, how then are we (as spectators) promised information and knowledge, insight and awareness?

how does RIVER RIGHTS remind us that things share relationships in time and space, not because of the editing, but because of their ACTUAL, HISTORICAL linkages?

“documentary re:presents the historical world
by making an indexical record of it;
it represents the historical world by shaping this record
from a distinct perspective or point of view.” (Nichols, 36)

why africa? what does this place mean to ben russel? what are his intentions? by undoing time is he also seeking to undo colonialist ideological perspective? because these subjects are being treated as “social actors” remaining cultural players rather than theatrical performers, how then are their own lives embodied on the screen? why does the camera produce a sense of voyeurism?